The Dreamer: Bringing a Mix of Coffee and Local Art

dlesk2The door chimes as you’re hit by the aroma of assorted coffees brewing. That’s what greets the senses when strolling into The Dreamer Coffee Shop. The Dreamer is located on Franklin Street, right off the campus of Central Michigan University.

Unlike your typical coffee shop, The Dreamer is home to something more than just coffee and pastries. The Dreamer is also an art gallery for local residents and CMU students alike.

The Dreamer started hosting a full-time art gallery along with special events thanks to local artist, Jay Bell. Bell first approached the owner of The Dreamer in hopes of hosting an art gallery for a charity event. After the initial show brought out a lot of support and interest in the event, Bell was asked to stay on as an event coordinator for the shop and to put together regularly hosted events.

“With our events here we try to include everybody, so that they can get the support they may need,” Bell said when asked what inspired the creation of The Dreamer art gallery. The idea of the art gallery is to allow local artists to have a place where they can display their art, as well as get a chance at possibly selling some of their work.

Dlesk1Bell explained how each month The Dreamer will host several large events along with having the daily exhibits on display. Anything from graphic art to photography, woodwork, paint, metalwork and drawing is displayed. During events there will often be local musicians performing while patrons stroll the shop, viewing the various works of art displayed around the walls and tables. Artists also perform live painting during events in order to show off the artistic process and answer questions for the curious passerby.

“We are going to begin a new marketing campaign that targets student artists and better informs them about this opportunity here, and the fact that you can possibly make a little bit of money off your work, perform your originals and display your art,” Bell said.

dlesk5This sense of community and desire to help the artist succeed is what has helped The Dreamer flourish as an art gallery. Bell explained that another reason the shop has been attracting more and more attention from local artists is that they only take 15 percent of the profit made off selling a piece.

“Most other places will take close to 40 percent, we only take enough to cover the tax,” Bell said.

Local artist Holly Burke,  who met Bell at the local farmers market, said the art gallery has given her more opportunity to display and share the hobby of wire working.

“I’ve been doing this for about eight years now,” Burke said.

Burke designs an assortment of different metal work such as rings, necklaces and trees with gems and stones wired onto the branches.

dlesk4“Art is like meditating, similar to work, but it’s not,” Burke said.

The process she undergoes when creating one of her wire tree works is about three days she explained. The wire hobby helps her create something out of her other hobby of rock collecting.

The world is full of varied kinds of art and artists from all walks of life, the most difficult part is initially getting known and establishing your credit as a selling artist.

Thanks to Bell and places like The Dreamer with a flourishing art gallery, getting your work out there and known is made possible.

If you would like to learn more about upcoming events or are interested in having work displayed at The Dreamer the information can be found on their website.